After meeting for the first time on the front lines of World War I, two aspiring writers forge an intense 20-year friendship and write some of America's greatest novels, giving voice to a "lost generation" shaken by war.
Eager to find his way in life and words, John Dos Passos first witnessed the horror of trench warfare in France as a volunteer ambulance driver retrieving the dead and seriously wounded from the front line. Later in the war, he briefly met another young writer, Ernest Hemingway, who was just arriving for his service in the ambulance corps. When the war was over, both men knew they had to write about it; they had to give voice to what they felt about war and life.
Their friendship and collaboration developed through the peace of the 1920s and 1930s, as Hemingway's novels soared to success while Dos Passos penned the greatest antiwar novel of his generation, Three Soldiers. In war Hemingway found adventure, women, and a cause. Dos Passos saw only oppression and futility. Their different visions eventually turned their private friendship into a bitter public fight fueled by money, jealousy, and lust.
Rich in evocative detail - from Paris cafés to the Austrian Alps, from the streets of Pamplona to the waters of Key West - The Ambulance Drivers is a biography of a turbulent friendship between two of the century's greatest writers and an illustration of how war both inspires and destroys, unites and divides.
...that I might not normally read--and this is another one. I first read/listened to The Rose Man of Sing Sing (which remains my favorite), something I'd have never found on my own but it was recommended to me so I listened! Now, if Morris writes it, I'll read it right away.
I knew little about Hemingway (other than reading some of his work) and even less about Dos Passos, so not only did I learn about the two men, but what I always appreciate about Morris is how he puts everything into the wider historical context.
There's a little bit of everything in this book: War, friendship, rivalry, marriage, what it means to be a writer, history, etc. I was really fascinated by the ambulance drivers in general; it's a part of WW1 that I knew nothing about!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Rich stories of two important writers and their tangled friendship spanning two world wars and the Spanish Civil War. Their shifting and conflicting ideology, romances, adventures and writing assignments are set on a world stage.
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What disappointed you about The Ambulance Drivers?
Sorry, but I couldn't get past the feeling that the narrator was bored with what he was reading. The longer he read, the more I lost whatever interest I had in the book.
Would you be willing to try another one of Dean Temple’s performances?
Let me put it this way: no.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful